Alarmed by the unprecedented crisis that is deepening social inequalities City Mayors from across Europe met to make a clear case for action in our cities where homelessness, unemployment and deprivation are shooting up threatening new groups of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion.


The Mayors called for bold action from EU and national authorities and a new pact for all levels of government to work together to build a just, sustainable and inclusive recovery that leaves no one behind. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cities have managed the crisis on the frontline by putting in place immediate measures to save jobs, help local businesses and protect the most vulnerable people. The Summit called for a strengthening social Europe, reinforcing the European Green Deal through a stronger social dimension and efficiently delivering the European Pillar of Social Rights in line with local needs. Creating a Mayors Alliance for the European Green Deal the Summit called for ambitious local action where climate, environment and social goals go hand in hand. 

The road to a stronger social Europe by 2030 needs cities in the driving seat to bring Europe closer to citizens and bring all people on board for just transitions. We are ready to fulfil our role and we expect European leaders to engage us as key partners in the EU agenda for recovery. 

Cities can contribute to the EU’s social targets for 2030 with concrete actions:

  • Local Pacts for Employment: decent working conditions that promotes an inclusive labour market for young people, women, the long-term unemployed, people with disabilities, migrants and minorities.

  • Local Pact for Skills: to step up efforts to address the skills mismatch at local level through up-skilling and re-skilling helping people to access jobs in the new green and digital sectors.

  • Poverty reduction: ensuring urban social cohesion by strengthening social inclusion measures to combat urban poverty, grant active support to the most vulnerable and equal opportunities for all people including people with disabilities and age-friendly strategies to tailor our services to the needs of the most vulnerable in our society.

  • Combatting homelessness: Housing is a human right and cities can set up local strategies for preventing and fighting homelessness, combining housing support with social, health and active inclusion into employment.

  • Investing in affordable housing: Lack of affordable housing is a worrying trend in cities: gentrification, touristification and financialisation of housing resulted in a higher number of people from the lower middle class facing housing deprivation. 


  • European Pillar of Social Rights action plan: to create strong synergies between Cities and the EU institutions with the European Green Deal, recovery fund and investment in social infrastructure.

  • Reinforcing the social dimension of the European Green Deal: to ensure a fair and inclusive transition where the cost of housing remains affordbale after investment in energy efficiency.

A Just Recovery: Strengthening social investment and investment in social infrastrucure as key means to deliver a just recovery taking into account the deep social impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Even prior to the pandemic, the gap in social infrastructure investment was estimated to be €192 billion per year and now this risks increasing further. Investing in social and affordable housing as  well as childcare, education and training infrastructure will help Europe to exit the crisis.

Read more about the EUROCITES EU pact for just and sustainable recovery